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Speak Perth What language is spoken in Perth

Speak Perth: What language is spoken in Perth?

Perth is one of Australia’s most culturally diverse cities, with 36% of the metropolitan area’s population born overseas (Office of Multicultural Interests). People from various cultures call the city their new home, jiā, or nhà—whatever language they use.

Being such a multicultural city, it’s understandable to wonder what language Perth’s residents mostly use, especially if you’re planning to move there.

In this guide, we’ll dive into Perth’s multicultural community and discuss the languages spoken in Australia’s City of Lights.

What is Perth’s official language? 

Perth and the rest of Australia have English as the designated official language used for official purposes, government communication, education, and day-to-day interactions of its residents.

However, while English is the official and dominant language, there are other languages spoken in the city. Perth is a culturally diverse city, with many of its residents coming from different ethnicities, so some speak a different language at home.

Additionally, Perth was home to various indigenous groups before Britain colonized Australia. These indigenous groups have their own language, which they still use with each other today.

Other Languages Spoken in Perth



Mandarin is the second most common language spoken in Perth after English. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as Mandarin is also the second most widely spoken language in the world, and the population of Chinese people in the city is on the rise.

In 2021, 7.7% of the people in Perth City and about 2.3% in Greater Perth, use Mandarin at home (Australian Bureau of Statistics). 

This reflects the significant Chinese population in Western Australia, which is about 3.3% of the total population (Office of Multicultural Interests).



There is also a significant number of residents in Perth that speak Spanish, despite its Spain-born population not being that big. This is because immigrants from other countries, like Italy, Uruguay, and Costa Rica, also speak Spanish.

In 2021, about 2.2% of Perth City’s population, 0.6% in Greater Perth, spoke Spanish at home (Australian Bureau of Statistics). It’s the third most widely spoken language in Perth City, just after English and Mandarin.



Cantonese is another language spoken by a portion of Perth’s population, especially within the Chinese and Hong Kongese communities. In Northbridge, where there’s a significant number of Chinese immigrants, you might hear some Cantonese speakers.

It’s tied with Spanish as the third most spoken language in Perth City, with 2.2% of the population speaking it.

While the two are tied in Perth City, there are slightly more people speaking Cantonese (0.9%) in Greater Perth than Spanish (0.6%) (Australian Bureau of Statistics).

Although Cantonese shares some vocabulary with Mandarin, it is a different language. Some people who solely speak Mandarin won’t be able to understand Cantonese, and vice versa.



Greater Perth has a relatively huge Vietnamese community, primarily in Alexander Heights, Mirrabooka, Girrawheen, Marangaroo, and Noranda. Hence, it’s not surprising that Vietnamese is one of the top languages spoken in Perth.

About 2.1% of Perth City’s population speak Vietnamese at home, according to a census done in 2021. It’s the fourth most spoken language in the whole of Greater Perth, with 0.9% of the population speaking it.



About 0.7% of Western Australia’s population was born in Italy (Office of Multicultural Interests), so there’s also quite a significant portion of its population that speak Italian.

About 1% of Western Australia’s population speaks Italian, reflecting those born in Italy and other countries.

In Greater Perth, 1.1% of the population speaks Italian at home (Australian Bureau of Statistics). It’s the third most spoken language in Greater Perth, just after Mandarin and English.

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